Before he was a state senator, Republican Rick Jones was Eaton County's state representative, and before that, sheriff. In November, the GOP lost both of those offices.
Republicans did win some county-wide elections, including clerk and drain commissioner.
WKAR's Scott Pohl talked with Senator Jones for reaction to his former jobs going to Democrats.
Jones thinks President Obama's win was a factor. In the sheriff's race, the senator points to what he considers to be unfair media coverage of Sheriff Mike Raines’ formation of a group called "Guardians of the constitution." Still, Jones says he wouldn’t have formed such a group.
Jones also thinks the fact that Raines drew a pension at the same time he was working for the county hurt him at the polls. Raines did nothing illegal; Jones points out that the winner of the election, Tom Reich, is also drawing a pension from the same retirement plan.
As for the state House race, Jones thinks one factor that led to Deb Shaughnessy's defeat was her voting record. He says in her first year in office, Shaughnessy took a week off to visit her first-born grandchild out of state and missed 65 votes, and that was used against her. Jones also points out that the winner, Theresa Abed, scored points by criticizing Shaughnessy for voting to tax pensions and to cut education funding.
Jones says neither Shaughnessy nor Raines asked him to play a role in their campaigns.
The senator says he has talked with Representative-elect Abed since the election on how they can work together in the bipartisan Capitol Caucus to do things for mid-Michigan.